Imperium ultrasonic imaging to be included in Boeing 787 inspection procedure

The real-time imaging device, Acoustocam, will be an option for airline customers to inspect composite structures.

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Imperium Inc.'s (Beltsville, Md.) trademarked ultrasonic imaging device, Acoustocam, is in the final stages of being included as an inspection option on Boeing's 787 Dreamliner aircraft. Acoustocam is a nondestructive testing solution that generates real-time, high resolution images of composite materials that can be easily interpreted by inspectors for internal anomalies.

Boeing develops inspection procedures to be used by their customers. The Acoustocam procedure is initially for in-service use on the 787 Dreamliner to inspect the composite fuselage. The Boeing procedures are designed to address possible maintenance issues or in response to requests by their customers. All Nippon Airways (ANA) approached Boeing about including Acoustocam in the NDT (nondestructive testing) manual because Acoustocam provided simple, quick and easy-to-interpret images of internal composite structures. In recommending the approval of Acoustocam, Hiroshi Kobayashi, an ANA senior manager of structural engineering, says, "The device is very helpful in capturing the image of internal structures quickly with Cscan mode." Kobayashi also noted that Acoustocam provided superior results over their current device; "Our airline would like to use Acoustocam and intends to purchase the ultrasonic imaging device when Boeing's NDT manual for the Acoustocam is established."

"We are thrilled Acoustocam will be available for airline use on the 787 Dreamliner. Acoustocam incorporates our patented DAV technology which offers superior images and detailed results to benefit the aerospace industry," says Imperium President and CEO Bob Lasser. "The Flight Safety Foundation estimates ramp damage costs operators nearly $10 billion annually. When aircraft are grounded, although rare, due to composite damage, lost revenue can be upwards of $50,000 per day. Acoustocam can help reduce those costs and missed detections by providing high resolution images of internal composite structures on an aircraft," he adds.

Founded in 1996, Imperium sells hand-held nondestructive devices that generate real-time, high resolution images that are easily understood and interpreted by end users. Imperium conducts all engineering, development and manufacturing (including fully semiconductor processing) in their 6,000 square-foot facility. With clients around the world, Imperium is dedicated to delivering products that improve imaging capability for ultrasound users across a variety of applications.